They Are Dropping And We Have To Pick Them Up.

Leaves In storm Drain
Leaves Blocking Storm Drain In South Eugene | Photo by Tim Chuey

We have had some cold winter-like weather lately with frost and overnight low temperatures dropping down to the 20s. We even set a new record low of 26 degrees at the Eugene Airport Monday October 26th and tied the record low of 26 degrees Tuesday October 27th. This is a pretty good indication that winter weather is not very far off in our future.  Before we tackle winter preparation there is another job that must be done. We see more clouds and rainy days, but when the sun does shine it makes the colorful leaves glow.

Fall Leaves Turning
Fall Colors | Photo by Tim Chuey

As I have said in previous articles about this subject, there are those who use the fallen leaves in their yard as mulch for the garden, some add them to their compost heap, and others pile them up for the city to collect them.

Eugene Leaf Map
Eugene Leaf Collection Areas Schedule | Image by City of Eugene

The City of Eugene has a section on it’s website dedicated to the leaf collection project with the basic rules we need to follow to help do the job right. I point them out so that all of us remember exactly what we are supposed to do and when to do it. Here are the basic rules for gathering your leaves for pick up that the City of Eugene has posted for years.

Leaves In The Street
Leaves Along Curb | Photo by Tim Chuey

1) Keep leaves out of the bike lanes or traffic. Eugene code prohibits the obstruction of bike or travel lanes with leaves or any other debris. And, property owners are liable for any injuries or damage that result from placing materials in the street.

2) Wait until the weekend before the scheduled pickup date to place your leaves in the street. Leaves placed in the street too early tend to blow around or get washed into storm drains.

3) If you live on an unimproved street place your leaves where they can be reached from the roadway. Our equipment will not leave the the road’s hard surface.

Leaves In Storm Drain
Leaves In Storm Drain | Photo by Tim Chuey

4) Keep curbs, gutters and catch basins clear to prevent flooding. If a catch basin does plug, scrape the leaves away from the grate. Be extra careful working in  traffic lanes or standing water.

5) Keep leaf piles clean. Don’t mix leaves with branches, rocks or lawn clippings because that makes it difficult to reuse the leaves for mulch or compost. Leave at least 15 feet between leaf piles and parked cars.

6) Pile leaves well away from catch basins.

7) Remove leaves from sidewalks. Wet, slippery leaves are a hazard to pedestrians.

8) Once leaf collection has occurred on your street, do not place more leaves in the street until the next scheduled round of collection.

9) Following collection there may be a delay when sweepers finish cleaning the street.

10) Please don’t pile your leaves close to an intersection. The pile can obstruct the view of a driver needing to make a turn at that intersection which could cause a dangerous collision.

How it works
Eugene Leaf Collection, How It Works | Image by City of Eugene

Now that you know the rules please feel free go to the City of Eugene Leaf Collection and Delivery Program page for all of the information concerning the pickup in your neighborhood.

Springfield Leaf Collection
Springfield Leaf Collection Map | Image by City of Springfield

The City of Springfield has a leaf pickup service also. Following the above map: West of 28th Street – first round week of November 30, 2020,  second round week of January 11, 2021. East of 28th Street – first round week of December 7th, second round week of January 18, 2021. All dates are weather permitting. For more information on how this works in Springfield just go to: Leaf Pickup Program which details their program and when they will be in picking up the leaves in the various parts of Springfield.

Remember to return to the leaf collection web pages for updates on collection dates for your area. If there is bad weather they could be delayed a week and sometimes they can get ahead of schedule and catch you unprepared if they show up a week earlier than you thought. If you miss getting your leaves raked up by the collection dates you can also put them in your yard waste container and your waste disposal company will take them.

Let me know what you would like me to talk about or explain. You can comment below or email me at: [email protected].

Tim Chuey is a Member of the American Meteorological Society and the National Weather Association and has been Awarded Seals of Approval for television weathercasting from both organizations.

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